Mumbai: MMRDA agrees to conduct hearings in districts

Mumbai: In major respite to around 63,000 landowners who submitted their suggestions and objections to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) regional plan 2016-2036, the authority has decided to conduct hearings in local areas.

Some landowners have objected to several provisions of the plan. From urbanising gaothans to construction on No Development Zones (NDZ), there has been around 40,000 objections from Vasai and 9,000 objections from Uttan. The landowners said travelling from the outskirts to Mumbai will be difficult for them considering the number of people who have objected to the plan.

Shailendra Kamble, member of the Citizen Development Plan Forum, said, “We requested the authority to conduct hearings in areas where the landowners can easily arrive since travelling to Mumbai time and again for objections will be difficult for them. We are glad the authority has decided to conduct hearings in our areas.”

According to the plan, several municipal councils and corporations around Mumbai will include the suggestions of the MMRDA’s draft regional plan in their respective development plans. MMRDA had released its regional plan in October last year which was criticised by several environmentalists and activists. A senior MMRDA official told FPJ that around 40,000 objections have been received from Vasai alone.

He said, “We have sent notices to the people who have submitted their suggestions and objections for the plan for appearing on the hearings. Several objections have come from areas like Uttan, Gorai and Manori as they have objected development on coastal areas that are under green zones.”

Members of the forum pointed out that several notices have failed to reach the concerned land owners. Kamble added, “We have requested the authority to ensure that each person who submitted his objections and suggestion should be called for the hearings since several notices have not been received by landowners. Around 9,000 suggestions and objections were submitted from Uttan.However, only 800-900 notices have been received and more than 1,500 are still pending at the post office.”

MMRDA has also proposed to revise the boundaries of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC),Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC), Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation (BNMC) and Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) citing that the burden on these government bodies will increase. MMRDA had earlier claimed that the city’s population will be reduced by 1.8 million by 2041, as people will move to neighbouring satellite townships like Navi Mumbai, Bhiwandi-Nizampur and Kalyan Dombivili.

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